WHY CHIA? WHAT MAKES IT A SUPERFOOD?
You KNOW what chia seeds are, even though you may not realize it. They are the seeds that are grown on those odd little terra cotta "chia pets" that are sold worldwide. As the seeds germinate and grow, the little chia plants become the "pet's" hair, albeit with green hair!
Well, to borrow some information from The Raw Food World, chia seeds contain twice the PROTEIN of any other seed or grain. They pack 5 times the CALCIUM of milk, and are rich in dietary fiber. They contain both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential oils for the body. and are considered the richest natural plant source of the omega-3s. Reputedly, chia seeds have the same amount of omega-3s in 3½ ounces of them, as there are in 28 ounces of Atlantic salmon.
They are an excellent source of - copper, iron, magnesium, molybdenum, zinc, manganese, and phosphorus. Chia seeds also contain BORON, which is a trace mineral that helps transfer calcium into your bones. In one of the books featured on this page, THE MAGIC OF CHIA, the author, James F. Scheer, cites a study done with chickens, that appeared to indicate that sufficient BORON in the diet can compensate for a lack of Vitamin D in the diet, or what is derived from exposure to sunshine. Amylose is also found in them, which is a slow-burning starch that is helpful for hypoglycemics, (people with low blood sugar).
When chia seeds are exposed to water, they form a gel. The soluble fiber in the gel forms a wall between carbohydrates and the body, releasing them slowly into the body. This has been found to be very beneficial for people who have trouble controlling their sugar levels like diabetics.
Dieters love the seeds because they can be added to any food or drink in a ratio of up to 75% of the volume of food or drink, without changing the taste. Because the carbohydrates in chia seeds are released slowly, it creates a feeling of being full. Many use the seeds in this way to control their appetites. The gel has no taste.
GET THE BOOKS!
For an in-depth, textbook-like dive into CHIA, and its benefits,
go for the book on the left, simply called - CHIA. For one that
is an excellent all-around introduction and overview, get the
them both, like I did. I own both books, and find that they
complement each other wonderfully! Click on the books, or
the title links above to get them from Amazon.
Here are some of the health benefits reputed to result from eating chia seeds:
The increased energy --- well, I have a lot, anyway, so I cannot tell. Their propensity to restore hair color - THAT seems to be working! Endurance - I am not exhausted after a 10-12 hour day. Regularity - no problem there. Getting rid of wrinkles - time will tell! Since I started eating them, September, 2007, I seem to heal rapidly, and my skin is clearer.
HOW TO EAT CHIA SEEDS
Well, the easiest way to eat them, is just to --- eat them! I chew them up by themselves, or grind them up in my nut chopper --- a two second operation ---and sprinkle them over my food, or mix them up in whatever I am eating, and DIG IN! Other people soak them in water until they swell up and form a gel, and add it to their smoothies or puddings or soup. They can actually be consumed in just about any fashion you can imagine, because they have very little taste of their own. The gel is not slimy, like so many products are, so the texture is actually very pleasant to the palate. In salad dressing, the seeds add a bit of interest, they have a tendency to increase the volume, and rapidly satisfy the appetite.
Because they are so compact, they are an ideal travel companion, whether on a long journey, a weekend trip, or a trip to your local buffet. If you carry them in a shaker bottle - I reused an empty spice container - you won't even arouse the interest of other diners. When I used to travel a lot, I would carry little things like that with me, right in my purse, where they were always handy. My GARLIC was ALWAYS handy, as was my STEVIA. It certainly beats having to settle for the typical over-cooked, nutrition-less fare at most of the airports and restaurants!
TO PURCHASE CHIA AT A REASONABLE PRICE, CLICK HERE >
ANCIENT SEED FOOD - "RE-DISCOVERED"!
I have always found it enlightening that the next generation invariably "discovers" what its grandparents knew all along! Chia seeds have been known since antiquity, and nourished thousands (millions?) of Aztecs, Incas, and Mayans. They considered it a "superfood", and carried it with them on their journeys, as a general matter of course. Over the years, chia seeds have been used as medicine, ground up into flour, eaten as seeds, and pressed into oil. "Re-discovered" is not really a sensible term, but I am sure you understood the meaning!
Currently, athletes have discovered the marvelous benefits of chia seed for strength, endurance, and energy. It is definitely considered one of the latest "superfoods" in weight training, muscle building, running, and physical training.
Chia is one of those foods that you will grow to love. Once you start to enjoy the amazing health benefits it provides, you will notice if your supply runs out!